Clearview North September 2014 - Issue 154 - Page 34

INDUSTRYNEWS Polyframe embarks on major expansion programme Fifth factory opens, creating 300 jobs in West Yorkshire. Polyframe is embarking on the most ambitious expansion plans in its 22 year history with the opening of a fifth factory. The company has acquired a second site in their home town of Halifax, which will create 300 jobs over the next three years, for the town and more than doubles shop floor manufacturing space to half a million square feet. Once the site is fully operational, Polyframe will employ approximately 500 personnel in Halifax and more than 650 group-wide. ‘continue its impressive growth and development’ This massive investment has been has been further increased with a grant from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership’s Business Growth programme, which is supported by the governments Regional Growth Fund. These funds will be used to undertake building works that are required to alter the Hopwood Lane site. Polyfame’s existing Halifax factory on Gibbet St will continue to operate as normal, but with increasing volumes of windows and doors, additional 34 SEP 2014 manufacturing capacity was essential for the business to continue its impressive growth and development during the last three years. The new location is only 200 yards from the current Gibbet Street site, and covers approximately 130, 000 square feet. The alterations to the infrastructure of the buildings will be carried out over the next few months to create a perfect workflow for the factory and ensure that production is as efficient as possible. Plans for the new site are ambitious and as well as further manufacturing space, Polyframe also has plans for a training academy and further office space at the new facility. Central to the expansion programme is for Polyframe to be able to consolidate the products manufactured at the two factories and so maximise efficiency and utilise space most effectively. Chris Watson, Polyframe Group MD, commented, “If we continue to grow at our present rate, the current Gibbet St factory would be running close to capacity by the end of the year. For us to continue to grow and introduce new products to the market, the need for a second Halifax factory was essential. The layout of the buildings allows us to create full window and door lines, while at the same time creating areas for niche products – including shaped and arched frames, bifolding doors, fully glazed frames and Polyframe’s unique fire escape ladder”. An integral element of the Hopwood Lane factory will be the creation of the Polyframe Training Acadamy. “Our workforce is set to double in Halifax to around 500 to 600 personnel,” Chris added, “so we need to ensure that comprehensive training is available. We intend not only establish a fabrication school for windows and doors but also to cover IT, sales training, order processing and even accounts. We recognise that a business is only as strong as the people who carry out the day to day running of the company”. The task of recruiting up to 300 new employees means that the Training Academy will become essential for Polyframe to continue manufacturing the high quality products that the company are associated with. Work will shortly commence on the new Hopwood Lane site and Polyframe plans to have the new factory fully operational by the end of the year. Established in 1992, Polyframe quickly grew to become a major UK manufacturer, producing in excess of 8,000 windows and doors every week by 2010. The extraordinary acceleration the Group really got under way in 2011 when the Company purchased the assets of Aspen Windows, which brought it a 100,000 sq uare ft manufacturing facility in Norwich and enabled Polyframe to service its increasing Southern customer base. After a year of consolidation, the Group opened a new factory in Mansfield to manufacture composite doors. This was further augmented with the opening of a window and door factory in Portadown, Northern Ireland. Polyframe has a clear strategy for the growth of the business and 2013 saw its product offering taken to new levels. The Northern Ireland factory enables Polyframe to manufacture products specific to the Irish and Scottish market, while the composite door factory manufactures a product that is an integral part of the Polyframe portfolio - and is increasingly popular as the door of choice for homeowners. The Group currently also incorporates a nationwide network of 12 Trade Centres, selling products to smaller tradesmen and builders. To read more, visit